Should you go to college in or out of state?


Mark Ramsay

Some seniors find themselves conflicted between taking a gap year or immediately going to college.

Anya Ball, Photo Editor

Each year, a new class of students is preparing to go off into the real world. October and November of senior year are filled with writing essays and filling out applications, but the most stressful part is figuring out where to go.      

Going away for college can have more benefits to students than staying in state. Students can experience new things, and step out of their comfort zone as they enter their adult years. 

“As a parent, I want my kid to be able to leave and go where she wants and experience new things for themselves, and learn to be on their own for a while. When I was 18, I left Poland and came to the U.S. while not knowing what I wanted for my life. But I have found by doing so I have learned more about myself and learned to survive on my own and create a family with little help,” says Kasia Ball, parent of a senior at PHS. 

Going out of state can give students new experiences and meet new people. 

 “I fully believe that the benefits outweigh the negatives… The biggest benefit is that the student has to make all of their own choices once they leave home, whether good or bad,” said Suzanne Hwang, parent of a high school senior. 

When going out of state, the student typically will not have adult influences to guide their choices, which will give them the freedom to learn for themselves and even the consequences of their negative decisions.

While going out of state can be beneficial to students, many students choose to stay close to home, or end up attending at nearby states. This means that it is easier to stay near family, usually more cost efficient, and can be less overwhelming, as it is not as much of a new environment away from the comfort of home. 

 According to the Health Resource Center at National Youth Transitions Center, it typically costs about $9,000 more each year to attend school out of state. As cost of attendance is an extremely important factor to many students, the cost of attending an out of state college typically deters students away. 

“When I applied to colleges, I chose to stay in state because I know it will cost too much to leave. I would love to go further out but I am worried that it will cost way too much,” said Laura Seeberger, senior at PHS. 

“I also did not apply too far because of my mom and dad, and a lot of my friends. Many of them are choosing to stay in state and I don’t want to necessarily disappear and not have any of that close connection.”

Seeberger and many other students have the same reasoning, but there are also students who would like to go out of state, but the cost is preventing them from doing so. But the real question is, is the cost worth the experience and the education?